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LAWS 4413 Constitutional Law: Philadelphia Convention (Spring: 3 )


Course Description

This seminar will focus on the Constitutional Convention (1787). We will explore the writing of the Constitution as a political, legal, historical, cultural, intellectual, and literary process. The class will consider the following questions through a close reading of The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787 (ed. Max Farrand, 2 volumes): what is a constitution; how do we tell the narrative of the writing of the Constitution; what is the role of individuals; how do we know the sources are reliable; how was the Constitution initially imagined; how did issues of representation and slavery affect the framing; how was the executive and judiciary imagined; how did we end up with a vice-president; what can we learn from the various final drafts of the Constitution. We will then go on to consider how ratification, the addition of the Bill of Rights, and the development of the Supreme Court alter our understanding of the original 1787 Constitution. Regular attendance, participation in disc


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Prerequisites: None

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Last Updated: 07-Dec-13